Reporting Blight

The nine new Neighborhood Safety Officers (NSO), who will be dealing with blight, have been chosen. The city is developing a Blight Plan and as soon as funding is received they will begin their work. David Solis (766-1426 ext 2601) is in charge of the planning and has indicated he welcomes any and all questions.

Until the officers begin their work you should continue to fill out the form on the Flint Blue Badge site and forward to Officer Tanya Meeks. Contact information is on the BlueBadge Volunteers page.

Down at the center bottom of the page you will find the form Notification of Abandoned Vehicles, Liquor Store Issues and Graffiti. Currently this form should be used for all blight issues.

Craig A. Wolcott

Meeting Minutes, May 16, 2013

Draft Minutes of the May 16, 2013 Meeting of the CCNA

Mike Keeler opened the meeting at 7:00pm.

John Cherry read the minutes. Motion to approve the minutes was accepted and approved, with one correction.

Cindy Robinson submitted the Treasurer’s report and Sherry Hayden summarized. Motion to approve the treasurer’s report was accepted and approved.

Candidates for the special election

  • Phil Phelps, running for 49th State Representative, discussed his work experience, and issues of interest
  • Andy Everman, running for the 49th State Representative, discussed his work experience, and connection to the neighborhood
  • Primary for the seat is on August 6th
  • Alex Harris, running for 7th Ward City Council, talked about issues that the city is facing, particularly public safety

Jim Ananixh

  • Appointed to Health Policy, Banking, Economic Development Committees
  • Talked about scrap metal theft and public safety funding
  • Jim answered questions about what is going on in Lansing

Election of Officers

  • Jack Minore requested nominations for President, Mike Keeler was nominated. Motion to elect by acclimation was made and seconded, passed unanimously.
  • Jack Minore requested nominations for Vice President, Sherry Hayden was nominated. Motion to elect by acclimation was made and seconded, passed unanimously.
  • Jack Minore requested nominations for Secretary, John Cherry was nominated. Motion to elect by acclimation was made and seconded, passed unanimously.
  • Jack Minore requested nominations for Treasurer, Susan Davidek was nominated. Motion to elect by acclimation was made and seconded, passed unanimously.

Trent Farnsworth from Flint Firefighters and Kevin Smith from Flint Police Officers Association talked to the group.

  • Discussed the change in EMS services from the City of Flint to the County
  • Discussed the changes in funding and disagreements with the consolidation of services strategy
  • Discussed the SAFER grant from the federal government that is being used to fund the Fire Department, and difficulties in getting the City to apply for continuation of the grant
  • Talked about concessions that the Department has made
  • Kevin Smith discussed being on patrol and answered questions –
  • Said that there is currently a police reserve program
  • Talked about uncertainty about the use of the new millage funds
  • Talked about the lack of utilization of revenue generating strategies for the police

Real Estate Report – Grant Hamady

  • Feels that sales are getting better right now,
  • There is currently a wholesale market (hud, foreclosures and shortsales) and also a retail market. The retail market is showing higher prices currently and has a good outlook.

Marketing Committee – Stef Diana

  • Discussed the idea of marketing the neighborhood
  • Want to develop a tri-fold brochure and update the website to make it more attractive
  • The brochure would be used to distribute to HR Departments a major employers like Diplomat, UofM, Mott, Hurley, McClaren, Kettering, etc.
  • We have started to talking to some of the HR Departments
  • Not just a brochure and a website, but also branding
  • Total price would be about $3000
  • Discussion about the fact that when people see the neighborhood that they like it, but there is a perception problem
  • Discussion about the rental market in the neighborhood

Mini-Station Update – Mike Keeler and Alex Harris

  • Had discussion with Mike Brown about utilization of the mini-station by the City
  • They are looking for us to fund it at no cost to the City
  • We are still waiting for response from the City
  • We are paid through September and have commitments through 2014

Flint Neighborhoods United – Craig Wolcott

  • We are putting together a letter of concern about Land Bank funding to the County Commission
  • They are working on blight issues
  • They are working on a court watch program
  • Flint Master Plan Public Safety Advisory Group is talking about recommendations to expand ministrations, crime watch, and an advisory committee to assist in ideas to increase public safety
  • Forms to report blight at flintbluebadge.com
  • They sent a letter to officials to encourage the closing of Palm Tree Lounge

Crime Watch – Mike Herriman

  • Dave Caswell is working on obtaining walkee-talkees for patrollers
  • There is an informational training program this Saturday for patrollers
  • Update on David McCarty who broke into the mini-station, the courts released him into a special drug court program.
  • Indications are that he is already offending again

Recycling – Holly Lubowicki

  • You can also use a container if your bin is not enough for your recycling
  • There are some items that you cannot recycle, that they show is recyclable (egg cartons, frozen food bags, bread bags)
  • They will deliver the bins if you call 888-872-7455

Other announcements

  • The City of Flint is not allowing Andy to mow the parks for free anymore because they believe they can save money by hiring someone to mow them twice per month
  • They will be closing the bank in the Mott Foundation Building
  • Jack motioned that $250 dollars be used from the general fund to fund the marketing campaign, seconded
  • Discussion on whether it would be slanted towards rental or homeownership – no slant either way
  • Discussion about whether to prioritize the web or print
  • Motion Passed unanimously
  • We are now getting notices on the runs in the neighborhood
  • Household Hazardous waste collection is this weekend
  • Land Bank is providing discounts to public safety, military, and health personnel for purchase of renovated Land Bank properties
  • Next membership meeting September 19th
  • Michigan Neighborhood Association is having a convention at Woodside Church on September 27 and 28

Meeting adjourned at 9:30pm

Meeting Minutes, March 21, 2013

Minutes of the March 21, 2013 Meeting of the CCNA

Mike Keeler Opened at 7:00

John Cherry read the minutes. Motion to approve the minutes was accepted and approved.

Cindy Robinson submitted the Treasurer’s report and Mike Keeler summarized. Motion to approve the treasurer’s report was accepted and approved.

Mike discussed curbside recycling

  • Discussed the history of attempting to incorporate recycling into City waste collection
  • The whole City will have access, but you have to call them and ask for recycling.
  • The phone number is 1-888-872-7455.
  • You will likely have to pick it up your bin from one of four locations in the City but they will deliver it to you if you ask.
  • The container will be 18 gallons but you will be able to use other containers, if it is properly labeled.

Mike Herriman – Neighborhood Watch

  • The individual who broke into the mini-station was caught, and received probation. He has a stack of priors.
  • We need statements of impact and letters to convince the judge to give a stronger sentence. Sentencing is Monday.

Matthew Jones

  • Did an Eagle Scout project in the community with the assistance of the community and wants to say thank you.
  • He is going on mission and wanted to invite the members of the associate to the missionary dinner to raise money for the mission on April 13th at the Grand Blanc State Center on McClandish Rd

Andy Everman – Michigan Neighborhood Association

  • Conference in Flint on September 27-28 at Woodside Church
  • If you have ideas for topics speakers, please contact him

City Councilman Dale Weighill

  • The Council is discussing the Karengondi Water Authority
  • He expects a vote on Monday, he plans to vote yes
  • The Council and the Mayor are putting together a resolution asking for a transition advisory board that will transition us away from an emergency manager
  • Has had discussions on 801 South Meade blight issues, neighborhood blight issues here and in Evergreen Estates. They will be meeting with Congressman Kildee to talk about options to stabilize the neighborhood.
  • We have the option to leave KWA if there are cost overruns
  • He will not be running for re-election to the council

Dick Ramsdell

  • Manager of the Flint Farmer’s Market
  • Presented on the Flint Farmers Market move, problems with the old site and advantages of the new site
  • Extensive discussion ensued on the Market

Meeting was adjourned at 9:15

Meeting Minutes, January 17, 2013

Minutes of the January 17, 2013 Meeting of the CCNA

Mike Keeler Opened at 7:05

John Cherry read the minutes. Motion to approve the minutes was accepted and approved.

Cindy Robinson submitted the Treasurer’s report and Mike Keeler summarized. There was discussion about membership renewals and funding of the mini-station. The treasurer’s report was approved.

Mark Fisher is ill and unable to attend (so there was no real estate report).

Mike Herriman presented on neighborhood watch. They were able to identify and apprehend the individual who broke into the mini-station. The individual on the bike who was breaking into vehicles and houses was tracked throughout the night by patrollers and the FPD were eventually able to pick him up.

Mike Brown, City Administrator presented:

The City just submitted a quarterly report to the Treasury Department. The administrator discussed the budget/deficit. We are 7 months into the current budget and it continues to be balanced. The City just submitted a report to the Mott Foundation on the police grant, there has been progress on 911 and the Flint Lockup. They have been able to arrest over 675 individuals now that the Lockup is open. Discussion continued on previous unfunded liabilities. Recycling will be part of the new sanitation contract.

Announcements: FRWSC Dinner end of January, Recycling is available at Goodwill on Averil, and help is needed on the Master Plan Assessment.

Meeting Minutes, November 15, 2012

Minutes of the November 15th Meeting of the CCNA

7:05 Mike Keeler welcomed everyone and opened the meeting.

The Minutes from the meeting of September 20th, 2012 were read.

A motion was made to accept the minutes, it was seconded and passed.

Sherry Haden read the Treasurer’s report and also informed the membership that Cindy Robinson will be continuing as Treasurer but will not be able to attend the meetings for some months due to a scheduling conflict.

It was moved to accept the Treasurer’s report, seconded, and approved.

2013 Fund appeal – use the meeting attendance e-mail list reminding people to renew their membership. Also use the list to send a report on all the activities that we will accomplish and use that report to ask people to continue to fund it.

Question: Can we use a fundraiser?

That could be very time intensive.

Question: Can we do a garage sale?

We have done that, didn’t raise a whole a lot.

If people have ideas we would love to have people take the bull by the horns.

Representative Jim Ananich spoke.

Real Estate Report: Mark Fisher

Good news: Prices increasing at a higher rate than the county (but starting a lot lower)
Ok news: Still a lot of short sales out there
Neighborhood market is firming up

Landlord/tenant Committee: Stef Diana
Worked on providing resources to improve the neighborhood
Did some work on our section of the website, but website needs to me more robust generally
Went through the various features added website and the information put out for public consumption
We need to add a link to report street lights out
Need help keeping it up-to-date,
please pass the improvements on
Asking for $75 for printing costs for printed materials we would like to produce for landlords/tenets
Motioned, seconded, and approved
New manager at Meade Street Apartments who has been taking a lot of action to clean it up

Tree Grant
Genesee County Conservation District had grants available
We received 2500 dollars and put in 33 trees

Community Foundation of Greater Flint and Health Coalition grants
Community foundation grant put in video camera, various things for the mini-station, and red alert
Health Coalition Grant – anniversary party and open sign for mini-station, also rent and utilities for mini-station
$1000 dollars for each grant
Need a volunteer coordinator for mini-station

Neighborhood Watch Committee
Common subject in early meetings was the party store
Took the approach of cooperating with the party store owner in trying to improve the clientele and the environment
State Police anonymous crime tip form – they need to get probable cause to investigate, this form can give them probable cause. With probable cause they can come out and watch the area to figure out what’s going on
How does this work with the City? This form goes to the State Police not the City the State Police may communicate with the city, but we do not know
We had an incident were suspicious activity was reported, pictures were taken, and it resulted in 4 individuals being arrested at Mott Park (U of M police reported seeing the car and City of Flint PD picked them up in Mott Park)
Information on impounding vehicles of folks with outstanding warrants who were pulled over. Mayor Walling wrote a letter confirming the information that we presented to him at the last meeting.
Motion to write a letter supporting implementing an impound policy. Motioned passed unanimously
Discussion about what to do if the police cannot come

Councilman Dale Weighill
Since we have had the emergency manager there have been fewer council meetings, no committee meetings and greater interaction with Department heads
Still working on constituent issues but Department heads do not return calls anymore

Meeting was adjourned at 9:12

Simple things you can do to improve your neighborhood

  • Keep the exterior of your own home clean, painted and in good repair.
  • Clear snow and keep the grass cut on your own property
  • Report problems, crime and suspicious behavior directly to the Flint Police Department via this form or stop by the mini-station. Contact 911 and/or the Mott Community College police (810) 762-0222, active in our neighborhood.
  • Know and talk to your neighbors; knowing your neighbors helps control crime.
  • Display a crime watch window sign and offer neighbors signs.  Signs are available from your block captain or at the mini-station.
  • Come to CCNA neighborhood meetings and stay informed of neighborhood issues.  See ccnaflint.org for meeting schedule.
  • Invite new neighbors to join you at a CCNA meeting
  • Join the neighborhood list serve:  ccnaflint-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
  • Pick up litter on your street; and if you are a walker, pick up litter on your walks.
  • If you live next to a vacant house, keep the grass cut and occasionally park a car in the drive.
  • Volunteer with the beautification committee.  Contact Claudia Mach or Mary Whaley.
  • Volunteer to be a block captain.  Call Craig Wolcott at 265-3226 or craig.wolcott@sbcglobal.net
  • Volunteer to help keep the mini-station staffed.  Call Don Potter at 624-3510 or dwpnpp@hotmail.com
  • Volunteer to be part of the neighborhood patrol.  Call Matt Schlinker at 691-7869 or matthewschlinker@gmail.com

Meeting Minutes, January 20, 2011 [uncorrected draft]

Vice President Mike Keeler presided.

Minutes of the November 18, 2010 meeting were read by Secretary Paul Streby and approved.

Cindy Robinson gave the treasurer’s report. The General Fund balance is $837.80, and the Beautification Fund balance is $838.94, for a total of $1676.74. The treasurer’s report was approved.

Mike read a letter from President Sherry Hayden thanking volunteers who have helped her, and proposing hiring a student to help with clerical tasks. We approved a motion to pay a student up to $100 over this year if a volunteer is not available.

Michael Kelly reported that Mott College enrollment is over 12,000. He apologised for the usual beginning-of-semester traffic congestion on Court St. He invited neighbors to an open house on January 21, 10am-6pm at the Fab Lab, which has some of the latest equipment for creating prototypes. For example, a company used the Fab Lab to test and redesign pliers they plan on marketing. The library is open and functional, but exterior work continues.

Kay Kelly announced that a grant helps pay teens for work at Kearsley Park. The Shakespeare Festival raised over $9,000, which helps pay for other projects. The Flint Folk Festival will be July 29-30. Players in Jack & the Beanstalk each were paid $50. Trail repairs are planned; wetland status may be desirable because of the recurrent flooding.

Rhina Griffel announced that the League of Women Voters is showing a film on February 10  about redistricting and gerrymandering. Members of the legislative redistricting commission for the County will be at a forum on February 17. Both events are at the Mott RTC, at 7pm. She proposed that the CCNA become a co-sponsor of the events; we would help get word out, but have no financial commitment.

Mike Herriman and Craig Wolcott gave a report on the latest College Cultural Neighborhood Watch. They are working with other neighborhood watches. CCNW has begun receiving crime statistics from the Flint Police Department. The Red Alert has only been used twice in this neighborhood, but scaling it to the whole city might be tricky. Reports began in November and are going forward. Looking at statistics will help show patterns to criminal activity. Some areas are well-covered with block captains, others are not. Eyes-and-ears helped catch burglary suspects recently. They recommended installing motion sensors. Police officers have told them that crime in the neighborhood seems to be down since the Watch began. Burned-out or obscured street lights can be reported to Consumers Power. It’s important to call 911 when people are seen trespassing in back yards, because they are often fleeing the police.

New neighbors introduced themselves.

Andy Everman thanked people who helped with clearing overgrowth in parks, fixed the tractor, and chipped in money for fuel. Mowing parks in the neighborhood cost over $800, but was covered by donations. Woodside Church expects a new interim pastor soon. The wooded area needs some cleanup, It is intended to serve as an area for meditation, plays, and other activities.

City Councilman Dale Weighill recently accepted a new deanship at Mott. The house at 801 S. Vernon is on the demolition list. It will probably be demolished in the next 90 days. Dale voted against issuing a $20M bond to erase previous debts. He submitted a list of questions to the mayor, but the vote came down before the answers had been supplied. An auditor said that at the current rate of spending, the $20M will be spent within a year-and-a-half, and paid off over 20+ years. The mayor is recommending a two-mill tax to replace community policing; otherwise, probably 17 officers will be laid off. Another proposal would fund the City Jail with two mills; this was postponed until more information. The City Council budgeted for housing inmates in other counties where costs are lower; the Chief of Police opted against using this line. The Council approved a resolution asking the Legislature to allow a referendum on raising the property tax.

Tom Nobles announced that the Flint Community Players are staging Dearly Departed the first two weekends in March. Tickets are available throught the Whiting box office.

Police Staffing

Watch the ABC12 report on the police staffing situation. It includes clips from Audrey Martini’s presentation at Thursday’s CCNA meeting.

Meeting Minutes, November 18, 2010

Vice President Mike Keeler presided.

Minutes of the September 16, 2010 meeting were read by Secretary Paul Streby. The minutes were corrected and approved. Paul provided some information about the website, and invited others to become active with it.

Treasurer Cindy Robinson gave the treasurer’s report. $723.94 is in the beautification fund, and $818.80 in the general fund. The treasurer’s report was approved.

President Sherry Hayden reminded neighbors to renew their CCNA membership. The membership voted to spend $366 on monthly ads in East Village Magazine for 2011.

Michael Kelly reported that Mott College is building a sidewalk on Longway Blvd. It helps connect paths through and beyond Flint. The Mott library is scheduled to be done with renovation at the end of the year, and under budget; the blue waterproofing on the façade will be gone. Community members can use the library. It reopens January 8. Horrigan Dr. will be the Court St. entrance for campus to relieve mid-campus congestion. Mott will keep its commitment to pay off the library renovation bond, but it will take longer than expected due to the drop in property tax revenues. Mott has several new majors, and has added two new green surface lots to accommodate the growing enrollment. The Cultural Center Holiday Walk is Tuesday, December 7.

Audrey Martini, director of outreach in the criminal justice program at Michigan State University, and who has been working with the CCNA Crime Watch, spoke about the Flint Police project. It involves training and technical assistance, informed by formative evaluation, and based on the assumption that no funding is available to expand police ranks. Making do with available resources is the goal. The lowest-seniority officer has 12 years on the job. Changes to practice need to be in place for seven years to become institutionalized. Calls have to be prioritized because there is not the manpower to respond to every single one. One option is online reporting for certain petty crimes, like destruction of property. Her handout states, “The goal of the MSU’s current partnership with the City of Flint Police Department and C.S. Mott Foundation is to leverage resources of the various partners to enhance Flint’s 21st Century Community Policing vision of a long term, sustainable policing strategy that supports the system-wide use of police-community partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.” Focusing on two areas of crime prevention can have ripple effects in other types of unlawful activity. Crime watches, eyes & ears programs, and other forms of community involvement are essential.

City Attorney Pete Bade spoke about the Genesee Towers settlement. Because the City does not have funds to pay the owner, the judgment will be presented to the tax assessor, who must by law impose a property tax. It will be 6.71 mills applicable to all properties (including Renaissance Zones), and appear on the December tax bill. Municipal bankruptcy does not eliminate union contracts or civil judgments. The State will not allow a city to file for municipal bankruptcy, which affects the State’s credit rating. A state takeover could result in a manager who consider only the bottom line. The City takes possession on December 8. Inspectors will do triage. It is possible that the building can be saved and marketed; demolition would be costly, because of its proximity to the Mott Foundation Building. Overall, Flint is well within the norm of claims paid overall.

City Councilman Dale Weighill reported that the budget is a major concern; the accumulated debt is about $18M. At current spending, the current fiscal year will leave the City $5M deeper. The State will not allow a bond issue until the gap is closed by union concessions. The firefighters union agreed to a benefits cut. If other unions don’t agree to concessions, layoff notices will go out to about 50 employees, including in public safety. If the current gap can be closed, City Council can vote to apply to the state for a bond issue. The mayor may ask the State for legislation to allow the City to raise tax rates to 1.5% for residents, 1% for nonresidents. He may also ask for property tax increases to pay for policing. Dale met with the mayor about the house at 801 S. Vernon, but it is considered sound and can’t be condemned and demolished. Leaf pickup was late because of poor management, which the department head admitted; an outside manager may be necessary. Compost bags will be picked up through the end of November. Dale was reelected City Council Vice President. He doesn’t always receive CCNA Listserv mailings, so email him directly with questions or comments. He invited neighbors to fill out a brief survey on tax and other issues.

Pete Bade said it can be very difficult to demolish privately owned structures that are fire-damaged. The attorney’s office at Court near Grand Traverse has been standing for years; owners can drag out the process for years.

County Treasurer-elect Deb Cherry said she would come to meetings when she can. She is glad to receive input.

Mott Trustee Andy Everman reported that tuition increases are the result of declining property tax revenues. Tax increases are not under discussion.

Mike Herriman and Craig Wolcott reported on the College Cultural Neighborhood Watch. Neighbors are urged to report crimes so accurate statistics are available. Additional funds appear not to be necessary to keep the CCNW in operation.

Meeting Minutes, September 16, 2010

Vice President Mike Keeler presided.

Board of Education member Betty Ramsdell gave a report on a proposed sinking fund. Homedale School will be torn down at a cost of $600,000. Central High School can be renovated if stimulus funds come through.

Secretary Paul Streby read the reports of the special July 22 meeting, which were recorded by Mike Robinson. They were approved.

Treasurer Cindy Robinson read the treasurer’s report; CCNA had a total of $1610.66 in its bank accounts. The report was approved.

President Sherry Hayden reported that Andy Everman has been doing a lot of mowing around the neighborhood. To help cover his expenses, neighbors are invited to give money or give it to Sherry to pass along to Andy. The next cleanup date is October 9.

A neighbor reported that on two occasions, a twosome hit golf balls at the crews mowing Burroughs Park. The Mott Public Safety desk sergeant can be called if this happens again.

Raynetta Speed, outreach coordinator of the Genesee County Land Bank reported on the clearing of vacant and abandoned lots and garden programs. The Land Bank is still demolishing dilapidated homes and trying to keep up with the arsons in Flint. More information is available at thelandbank.org.

City Councilman Dale Weighill reported that 500 houses are on the City’s emergency demolition list. The Council has recommended bidding out the demolition projects. Tami McRae is the blight elimination officer for the 7th Ward, plus some other areas. The blight elimination office number is 237-2090. The initial fine for parking on lawns is $25, and gets higher for subsequent citations, but follow-through is difficult, given the lack of police resources. He is working on getting the City to take action on the burned-out house at 801 S. Vernon, which is boarded up. He can meet with the mayor, and bring along neighbors who are interested.

Dale reported that there are not enough votes in favor of extending the tax abatement for University Park Estates. He will email the CCNA Listserv if the mayor brings it to the City Council. The decline in property values created a $10M deficit the last year of the Williamson administration, and $9M under Dayne Walling. A tax increase might not prevent revenue from sinking further, so layoffs could still occur. Another state takeover might not be all bad, with revenues and expenditures being lined up. He is interested in input on this. The City offered the owner of Genesee Towers a portion of the settlement, but he refused, so a millage might be imposed to pay the award. If the City could not make its payroll, this could be a trigger for a takeover.

Alex Harris stated that legacy costs such as pensions eat up a large portion of the City’s budget. These cannot be removed except possibly in a municipal bankruptcy.

Jim Ananich, who is running for state representative, reported that there will be an election forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters on September 29 at Flushing Twp. Hall, featuring candidates in local races. He said that the cost of demolishing Genesee Towers may be a wash if the resulting scrap materials are sold.

Deb Cherry, candidate for County Treasurer, said she wants to analyze foreclosures and work with banks to head off foreclosures when possible.

Craig Wolcott and Mike Herriman reported that they now have 13 block captains for the Crime Watch. Block captains gather contact information from residents of their areas, and get them on the Red Alert system if they wish. It is important to turn on porch lights at night, but some streets are very dark. More Blue Badge training of different levels is coming up. Crime Watch vests are available. The next Crime Watch meeting is October 7. A paid patrol is a no-go. It is recommended that homeowners bolt window air conditioners and keep pepper spray or wasp spray near their doors.

Matt Schlinker modelled a Crime Watch vest, and gave a demonstration of a Red Alert. Patrol Notes is available for people using the Red Alerts. Neighbors can contact Matt or Shane Grambling to be added to the Patrol Notes list.